There are times when you need to ease sheets smartly, but on most self-tailing winches that means removing a winch handle, taking the line from the self-tailer, and then easing the line on the drum—often not as quickly as you’d like to make the move. With its QuickTrim feature, Ronstan is removing those obstacles and making this maneuver that much smoother.
QuickTrim is one of several innovations in Ronstan’s new line of aluminum Orbit winches, from which it drew on years of experience building stainless steel Andersen winches, known for their durability and quality. Some Andersen features, such as gearing configuration and the vertical Power Ribs that enable better line grip with fewer turns on the drum, were brought over to the new series. But in most respects, Ronstan Orbit winches are brand new thinking, focusing on three sizes for boats up to about 40 feet.
The larger two—30QT and 40QT—employ the QuickTrim feature. To engage it, you rotate the top cover of the winch counterclockwise slightly, and a spring action releases the self-tailer so that it becomes like a sheave, letting you ease the line while it’s still in the self-tailer. Letting go of the cover lets the self-tailer spring back to lock again. To minimize friction, ball bearings carry thrust loads and roller bearings carry the drum’s radial loads. The drum itself is lightweight machined aluminum, stronger and lighter than cast aluminum drums, and the center stem is likewise aluminum, lighter than more frequently used bronze. Gears are bronze aluminum. Along with being lighter (the 30QT weighs just 6.8 pounds with a maximum pulling load of 1,543 pounds), the Orbit’s gearing configuration also enables the winches to have a comparatively low line entry.
For servicing, a spring-loaded release latch on top of the drum along with a slight turn counterclockwise lets you lift the self-tailing arm and then the drum itself. Notches on the center stem also let the self-tailer be adjusted to one of eight positions. Ronstan.us.